EFCC detaining man without trial, kept with COVID-19 patient -Lawyer writes Bawa

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By Blessings/Abuja

A Law firm based in Abuja, Alex Oketa Chambers, has exposed how a young man has been kept in detention at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s (EFCC) facilities in Wuse, Abuja, for a week running, without disclosing his offence to him.

In a letter to the Commission’s Chairman, Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa on Wednesday, the law firm also accused the EFCC of keeping Mr. Muktar Habibu Ali in same cell with a COVID-19 patient identified as Mr. Mbah, without a detention warrant.

Barrister Alex Oketa, Head of Chambers, who signed the petition, also copied the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN) and the National Human Rights Commission, urging them to intervene and free Mr. Ali, whom he said was being held without any just cause.

“Our Client was arrested by men and officers of the EFCC from the Abuja Zonal Office since the 30th day of March, 2021 and dumped in detention till date.

“Our client is being detained alongside a Covid-19 Patient named Mr. Mbah from Abia State and risks contacting the deadly virus.

“Since the time of his arrest till the time of writing this letter, Our Client has not been told or confronted with the reason for his arrest and inordinate detention and no statement whatsoever has been obtained from him”, the petition reads.

Barrister Oketa said the family of his Client suspected that, his arrest was not unconnected to a debt of N1.5m between him and his friend.

He said the debtor “had boasted few days to his arrest that the new Zonal Head is his friend and that he would use him to ensure that our client is arrested and detained until he pays him the desired amount”.

The Lawyer added that the continued detention of his Client without valid warrant or arraignment in court, violates his fundamental rights as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999 As Amended), which the EFCC Chairman swore to uphold.

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